Tim Burriss was diagnosed with metastatic malignant melanoma some 20 years ago.
His road to recovery was long — but successful — and included several visits to doctors.
While waiting in the waiting room during one of those doctor visits, Burriss picked up a magazine and came across a story on mountain climbing.
Long story short, Burriss immediately added “climb a mountain” to his “bucket list.”
Cross if off.
Early in July — on July 3 to be exact — Burriss and a longtime friend — Paul Hannan — climbed Quandary Peak in Colorado.
OK, Quandary Peak is not the highest mountain in the world, nor is it the toughest to climb, but when you are both first-timers, reaching the summit is a big deal. Something definitely worth celebrating.
“Wow, we did it,” said Burriss. “Sometimes I still pinch myself. It was an incredible journey.”
“Reaching the summit was better than I had expected,” said Hannan. “I figured it was going to be something special, but it was better than that.”
Burriss and Hannan are both from Rochester. Burriss, 57, moved here 18 years ago and currently works in the financial department at Mayo Clinic while Hannan, 46, moved to Minnesota from Dubuque 22 years ago. He is a product manager.
In the “what are the odds department,” their wives met in a restaurant/bar in Ireland and came to find out they attended the same church (Holy Spirit) in Rochester. The families have been close ever since.
Fast forward to last fall; Burriss and his wife Susan celebrated their 25th anniversary in Colorado and “the seed was planted.
“We fell in love with the area,” Burriss said.
And it didn’t take much convincing when he asked Hannan to come on board.
“Basically,” he said, “it was a no-brainer.”
THEY HAD COMPANY
Burriss and Hannan weren’t alone on their journey; Quandary is, after all, one of the most popular hiking trails in Colorado.